A full lineup of Stony Brook University musicians will perform back-to-back Sunday in a benefit concert to raise money for victims of a tsunami that killed more than 14,000 people when it struck northern Japan in March.
The three-hour benefit, dubbed the Earthquake & Tsunami Relief Benefit Concert, kicks off at 7 p.m. at the university's . In lieu of tickets, attendees can donate as much as they want to the relief fund at the concert.
The concert was put together by musician and doctoral student Martin Loyato with help from the Stony Brook Japanese Center, the , the music department and the Wang Center, which focuses on Asian studies.
"As a musician, I can offer my music to help. This is why I decided to put a concert together and call some of the finest musicians we have around Long Island," Loyato said.
In addition to Loyato's own quartet – Loyato plays trumpet – the billing will include cellist Colin Carr, violin-piano duo Silken Rags, harpist Rachel Brandwein, saxophonist Scott Litroff, fiddle and piano duo Emmy Holmes and Eriko Nagai, guitarist Pat Castain as well as singer-songwriters Erin Slaver, Andrea Daly, Katelyn Kennedy and Zach Goodman.
On March 11, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck off of the coast of northern Japan, generating a tsunami that swept over the countryside, wiping out towns and killing thousands. In the days and weeks that followed, damaged reactors at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant have spewed radiation into the environment, adding elements of a nuclear disaster to the tragedy. The event has spurred a global outpouring of relief efforts.
Still, Loyato believes the community could be doing more.
"I think we are living in a society that is becoming numb to tragedy, we get heartbroken and shocked the day we hear news like this, but the next day we forget all about it and keep going with our 'busy' lives like nothing else is happening around us," he said.
Lovato said all the money raised will be sent to Japan, and concertgoers can give cash or write checks to the American Red Cross or the Japan Society.